Album: Phil Spector, The Philles Album Collection
(Sony Legacy)

3.00

 

Not for nothing was Phil Spector known as the Tycoon Of Teen: Philles, the label he formed a year earlier with old-school record executive Lester Sill, became in 1962 Spector's alone, making him, at 21, the youngest label head in America.

Though Philles' main currency was pop singles, the label did release a few albums, the most notable being the legendary A Christmas Gift For You, the hardy seasonal perennial frustratingly not included as part of this 7CD box set. Indeed, the long-player was a form he disdained: anticipating download-era attitudes by about a half-century, he described albums as just "two hits and ten pieces of junk", a point of view confirmed by his own early releases. When The Crystals' Twist Uptown failed to perform commercially, it was swiftly withdrawn, Spector slapping on the group's two recent hits "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love" and reissuing it as He's A Rebel. Both albums are included here, like a literal echo of old industry practices.

"He's A Rebel" provides a perfect illustration of Spector's ruthless approach to his artists. With The Crystals out on tour and unavailable to record the song, he simply acquired another girl group, The Blossoms, and had them record it as The Crystals. The lead singer, Darlene Love, then went on to have hits both as herself and as Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans - notably the epochal "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" - and in all probability contributed to The Ronettes' output too. Love's is one of the most crucial voices in the development of the girl-group sound, challenged only by The Ronettes' Ronnie Spector. They're certainly the most soulfully effective, evoking the wrong-side-of-the-tracks, rebel-chick quality crucial to Phil Spector's aesthetic.

The producer's celebrated Wall Of Sound remains idiosyncratic, even bizarre, with the monstrous banks of keyboards, guitars and strings, the prominent Latino rhythmic elements which brought flamenco and tango into pop, and the weirdly foregrounded percussive flourishes, like the castanets on The Crystals' "Another City - Another World", louder than the entire string section. But while he may have claimed to be making "little symphonies for the kids", frequently here the overwhelming impression is of vast resources squandered on paltry material like "Frankenstein Twist", or ill-judged attempts to cash in on some passing trend, as with Bob B. Soxx's vain snatch for the folk bandwagon, "This Land Is Your Land". But Spector's disdain for all but hits is best exemplified on the instrumental B-sides compilation Phil's Flipsides, by The Phil Spector Wall Of Sound Orchestra, which nevertheless offers the opportunity to examine his techniques unencumbered by vocals, often on trifles titled to highlight Wrecking Crew members such as Nino Tempo, Sonny Bono and Hal Blaine.

Apart from the hits compilation Philles Records Presents Today's Hits, by far the best stuff included here is to be found on Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica, for which Spector reserved his most potent musical brews. In many cases, it's possible to spot the specific sonic strategies nicked by Brian Wilson from tracks such as "Do I Love You?", confirming the old saying about how genius steals. In this case, from another genius, however flawed.

Download This: He's A Rebel; Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah; Be My Baby; Baby I Love You; Da Doo Ron Ron

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman as Doctor Who and Clara behind the scenes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cheery but half-baked canine caper: 'Pudsey the dog: The movie'

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor